“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Craic In The USSR

I had an interview with William Ryan published in the Irish Examiner last weekend, to mark the publication of his third Alexei Korolev novel, THE TWELFTH DEPARTMENT (Mantle). It opened up like this:
Of all the writers in the new wave of Irish crime fiction, William Ryan has a strong claim on offering the most interesting setting. THE TWELFTH DEPARTMENT is the third novel in a series featuring Captain Alexei Korolev, a police detective operating in Moscow during the 1930s, a period dominated by Stalin and overshadowed by the Great Terror.
  “Crime fiction is all about truth and justice and morality, and these are all things that were manipulated in the Soviet Union,” says Ryan. “They didn’t necessarily mean what you thought they meant. Back then they had the concept of ‘bourgeoisie morality’ – you know, what we now consider to be a valid morality would have been frowned upon in Stalin’s Russia. Right and wrong were all subordinate to the political will. So when you have a detective who is basically looking for truth and justice, these are things that don’t really exist in the way we understand them.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here


seana graham said...

Very nice interview. I liked that image of the monks coming out in strength.

You've praised Ryan before and I really want to get to him. I have one of his books here so there's really no excuse.

Declan Burke said...

They're very interesting novels, Seana - as you can imagine, the place is as much a character as any of the people. Let me know how you get on with him ...

Cheers, Dec